Memorial service held for Bethel cab driver

by Angela Denning-Barnes on February 9, 2012

Young Suk Chong, "Suzi"

Alaska State Trooper’s Bureau of Investigation or ABI has taken over the case of the Bethel cab driver who was found dead in Napakiak, Feb. 1. The ABI has declined to comment about any possible progress in the case. However, more was revealed about the life of 54-year-old Young Suk Chong during a memorial service held February 6 in Bethel.

The Bethel Korean Church held the service at the Assembly of God Church. The gathering grew to standing room only as sympathizers packed into the entry way of the building.

Chong’s body was sent to Anchorage for the investigation, but a smiling portrait of her was displayed at the front of the church, between two bright bouquets of pink and yellow flowers.

Memorial gatherers were told that “Suzi”, as she was known by her friends, was born in South Korea before moving to the United States. She lived in California for about 30 years before moving to Bethel about a year and a half ago. The plan was for Chong and her husband, Yun K. Yi, to drive cabs to support their 21-year-old daughter’s education as she attends college.

Friend and co-worker Sandra Kim, said Chong was a courageous woman who was full of life, kindhearted, joyous, and generous. She was known to cook up Korean snacks and hand them out to the night shift crew where she worked.

“No one deserves what Suzi went through,” said Kim. “The power of the American Justice System has to prevail.”

The service finished with Christian hymns sung simultaneously in Korean and Yup’ik. A potluck followed in the church’s community hall.

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